ICC fugitive Omar al-Bashir with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Beijing, 1 Sept 2015. © AFP
China’s hosting last month of International Criminal Court (ICC) fugitive Omar al-Bashir displayed a lack of global leadership and disregard for thousands of victims of grave crimes in Darfur, Sudan.
China was part of the UN Security Council that in 2005 asked the ICC prosecutor to investigate grave crimes in Darfur with the full cooperation of all UN member states. It has the added distinction and responsibility of being one of the five permanent, veto-wielding members of the Council.
Indeed, China’s decision not to veto the Darfur referral ten years ago was a significant development in its approach to the maintenance of international peace and security.
Yet it has failed, along with the rest of the Council, to provide the necessary support to execute the ensuing ICC arrest warrants against the Sudanese president and his deputies who are alleged to be responsible for continuing grave crimes in Darfur and South Kordofan state.